This is India's 1st international flight with fully Covid vaccinated crew
Air India Express, the budget wing of the Air India, on Friday operated the country's first international flight with the crew fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The flight, IX 191, operated from Delhi to Dubai. As the vaccination drive in the country is gathering pace and activities are resuming, more and more airlines are ensuring their crew are vaccinated. Vistara has recently operated a domestic flight between Delhi and Mumbai with a fully vaccinated cabin crew. But no other flight has operated internationally yet with a fully vaccinated crew.
"Air India Express, India's leading budget carrier, operated the first international flight from the country with fully vaccinated crew on June 18 on Delhi- Dubai sector. The pilots and the cabin crew of IX 191, which took off from Delhi at 10:40 am, had received both doses of their Covid-19 vaccine," said an official release by the airline.
Captain DR Gupta and Captain Alok Kumar Nayak were the pilots of the flight, while the crew included Venkat Kella, Praveen Chandra, Pravin Chougle and Manisha Kamble. The same team operated the return flight as well. The airline said that they have vaccinated almost all eligible crew members and frontline staff.
Normal flight operations came to a halt in March last year after a nationwide lockdown was imposed. Flight movements resumed in the form of rescue operation as the Centre started Vande Bharat Mission to evacuate Indians stranded in other countries. Air India Express has been a part of the mission and operated 7,005 flights carrying a total of 1.63 million passengers till last month.
"As we operate the country's first international flight with fully-vaccinated crew, it may be recalled that it was Air India Express that operated India's first-ever Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flight which touched down Indian soil on May 7 carrying passengers from Abu Dhabi. We are happy that now our teams are shielded with the protection of the vaccines" the airline said.
While the Vande Bharat Mission is still going on, international flights were being operated in bubbles, though some countries suspended flights from India in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic.
(With Agency Inputs)